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Ghosts, Graveyards and Cypress Knees

The World's Slowest Orgy; and How I was not Invited

USA | Thursday, 11 June 2015 | Views [165]

 

Mardi Gras beads and a sheen of sweat painted onto every visible surface of skin panders to the desire for shiny things that lingers in the hedonistic reaches of the mind’s crevices.  I’m told New Orleans is the world’s slowest orgy - because invariably if you wander the streets ducking into bars and back alleys, you can’t help but run into a former lover sucking down whiskey and being audibly fucked by the string of music-note suitors that perpetually marches out of each tavern door.  You would think it would be easy, even for me, to get laid; but here I am, two gin-and-tonics deep in a swamp of self-defeat ranting to the only other queer in the bar I’m not attracted to or interested in.
 
“So, I bought a Rodeo, because “If you build it, they will come”.  Well, that was 6 months ago.  Fuck you, Field of Dreams.”
 
"Yeah, I put my cock in my storage unit.  Which basically sums up where I’m at with life."
 
We turn towards our respective glasses, and smile sullenly at how clever we are in our angst.  This bar, the definition of seedy, is close enough to the French Quarter to hear the creaking carriages and stomping mule hooves but tucked away enough to be undetectable to eyes not adjusted to the city’s neon night lights.  A band is playing; the singer - a powerful being named Chaos who is a good foot taller than me and has dreads older than my career - is screaming lyrics I can’t distinguish, but there is no mistaking their emotional intent.  Chaos, I overhear from the bar-tender, is dating a girl named Riot.  Of course she is.
 
I step outside, tripping over street kids who are piled up on the curb as a result of the recent ordinance passed forbidding the consumption of cigarettes inside bars.  The cloud of ash, no longer contained by three walls and a tattered roof, is set free upon the streets - and while our lungs might be healthier for it, I wonder if this change will make it harder to see the stars.
 
The river is only a short walk, and I don’t completely realize that’s where my feet are taking me until I am standing on the rocky outcropping staring off to the West Bank.  The bright lights of the steam powered ship revolves past my view, carrying drunken tourists through the mouth of the mighty Mississippi and the End of the World; which, as it happens, is only about a thirty minute ride away.  They are content to believe they are traveling in the style of Tom Sawyer; and I am contented to look past them into the mountains of shipping containers and wonder what adventures are imbued into the steel walls that have traveled the whole world over just to float past me now.  There are so many ways forward, and only one clear path back.
 
I light a cigarette and take the essence of fire into my lungs, hoping that someday I will learn to breathe out with the same flame of passion.  The night wraps around me, the heat permeating my flesh and bones forcing my body to sweat out all the toxins and impurities collected over the years of working thankless jobs, and living half-filled lives.  I can hear the banter of the barflies in the darkness behind me, and I wonder about the hands and hips that twist, rub and revolve in ways that can be described as nothing but revolutionary.  I will make it back there, and maybe even find the distraction I am looking for; but it will always be the tendrils of smoke and steam that breathe out of the pores of the city’s flesh that will ever envelope me entirely.

 

Tags: bars, french quarter, lesbian, louisiana, mississippi river, new orleans, queer

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